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Methods of inquiry are a set of principles used to gather and process information in the pursuit of providing answers. These principles are divided into two distinct categories reconstructing the past and discovering or creating new knowledge (Osterberg J./Ward R., 2010). Criminal investigation uses elements of both of these disciplines to gather and evaluate evidence into clues or leads necessary for determining if a crime has been committed (Osterberg J.
/Ward R., 2010). These steps are also necessary after the crime has been established in finding the person or persons responsible for committing the crime.
The optimal mindset for an investigator is flexible outlook combined with the ability to identify objects which seem out of place. The optimal mindset should be skeptical and always alert as to what does not fit in the present,” situation two maxims speak to the practical value of a skeptical outlook: such old proverbs as the Latin “Believe nothing and be on your guard against everything,” and the Persian “Doubt is the key to knowledge.
” Pg 293 (Osterberg J./Ward R., 2010). The concepts pertaining to this mindset are manifested through practiced and experience. These attributes can be strengthened through reading newspapers, magazines and the internet for articles help to stimulate the intuitive responses characterized by an investigative mind-set (Osterberg J./Ward R., 2010).
The scientific method is a way of problem-solving systematically through observation and objective thinking.
It is applied to criminal investigations by induction, deduction, classification, synthesis, analysis, hypothesis, a prior and a posteriori(Osterberg J./Ward R., 2010). These steps are the basis for conducting an investigation systematically by using these steps the past is reconstructed giving the investigator an idea of how, where, when, why the crime was committed and who committed it.
Three primary sources of information for criminal investigators would be
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